Welcome to Lizzie Harper’s Website!
An experienced natural history and botanical illustrator, Lizzie’s work appears in books and magazines around the world, on postage stamps and mugs. She lives very happily in Hay on Wye, and works her garden studio surrounded by plants and birds.
“ I am passionate about the natural world and love learning about the plants and animals I illustrate. ”
Explore my website and discover:
If you’re interested in finding out what I’m working on at the moment, follow my blog or find me on instagram.
“ “Botanical artist Lizzie Harper produces meticulous watercolours of flora and fauna in her celebrations of nature” ”
Country Living Magazine
“ Lizzie has consistently impressed me with her skill, professionalism and attention to detail ”
Jenny Campbell, Editor, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Links to Lizzie's Workshops, Exhibitions, Cards, and Prints
For details of Lizzie’s workshops, exhibitions, and information about greetings cards and ordering prints, click on the links.
Lizzie's latest Posts and Blogs
Below are some links to Lizzie’s latest blogs and Instagram posts.
New blog out on Nature notebooks and my family tree:
It's all about my Great Aunt's 1920s Nature notebook, done when she was a 10 year old school child; and how interesting it is to see how natural history used to be taught at the end of the Edwardian era. I've transcribed some of her notes, and uploaded some of her lovely pictures.
The blog is also and how important it is to encourage everyone to create art. You end up having generations of one family who love drawing and painting, and do it well.
There are comparisons of my work next to the same subject painted by my Mum, Great Aunt Nina, (and my niece). And samples of my Grandmother's gorgeous embroidery of wild flowers.
Always encourage your family and friends to create art, it's such a wonderful thing to learn to do and can provide so much joy.
#iris #mushroom #embroidery #history #naturenotebook #botanicalillustration #edwardianeducation #victorianschooldays #schooldays #hereditory #loveofart #encourageart #wren #bluebottle #fly #ant #woodant #scienceteaching #naturalhistoryillustration ...
This Mallard in flight was completed for @spotfarms and features om their Wild Shreds pet food packaging.
Getting reference for this involved me lying on my belly on Brecon towpath, next to the canal, with a camera and a sketchbook. Needless to say, I got very odd looks.
The brief needed every animal in the series of pet food packaging to look "majestic", and a good way of giving that feeling is by taking a viewpoint from below the creature in question. Hence creeping about on my belly.
Ah, the things we do to earn an honest crust....
#mallard #duck #drake #birdart #ornithologicalillustration. #scientificillustration #sciart #naturalhistoryillustration #naturalscienceillustration #anas #anasplatyrhynchos #foodpackaging #packaging #packagingdesign #petfoodpackaging ...
This is a Gerbera daisy, Gerbera hybrida, an illustration done a while back.
Originally from South America, Asia, and Africa; these resplendent flowers are incredibly popular both as pot plants and as cut flowers. In fact, they're the 5th most popular cut flower. This one grew in a pot in my bathroom, and was in flower, on and off, for at least 14 years. I loved the way the inflorescences spiralled around the main plant, and put up only one or two blooms at a time.
These daisies are part of the Asteraceae family, and are in fact hundreds of tiny flowers all held together in one flowering head. The outer "petals" are ray florets; the tiny ones in the middle are disc florets. Next time you get a chance, have a close look at a daisy with a hand lens and you'll see how these plants are built.
They contain a compound called coumairn, which discourages animals from eating them. We've co-opted this chemical and use it in the perfume industry as it smells sweet (but tastes unpleasant). Coumairn is closely related to Warfarin, a blood thinner which is used in medical anti-coagulants and (rather less pleasantly) as rat killer - the animals die of internal hemorrhage..
So next time you buy a potted Gerbera plant from your local garden centre or nursery, be filled with awe for all the cool adaptations it has, along with those stunning blooms.
#dasiy #gerbera #botanicalillustration #botanicalart #flowerpainting #coumarin #asteraceae ...
New year, new blog:
This blog discusses how I assemble the reference needed to do a thorough sketchbook study of a species, in this case the Heath star moss Campylopus introflexus; and how I compose the sheet and execute the illustrations. There's also info on where the illustration is used.
It's a bit niche, illustrating mosses, but it's a wonderful discipline; getting so thoroughly lost in the intricacies of the moss structure. There's a whole minute world in every clump, just waiting to be explored.
For more on how I do my sketchbook studies, join me on March 24th for an illustrated online discussion - it's one in this year's series of Julia Trickey's fabulous Botanical Art talks: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_phYDOAngQ8aXDTRq4ptw2A
#moss #bryophytes #heathstarmoss #campylopus #campylopusintroflexus #naturalscienceillustration #botanicalillustration #sciart #sketchbook #sketchbookillustration #journal #journalling #botany #botanicalart
Thanks due to #britishbryologicalsociety for the resources they have and help their members provide on twitter ...
This is the Water primrose Ludwigia grandiflora
I've not seen it growing wild so it's one of those challenges when you need to construct an illustration from photos, online images, & written descriptions; & include water plus the correct growth habit.
But there can be a lovely moment with these illustrations, done "blind"; when you do eventually stumble across the plant, you can feel the most tremendous rush of relief if it looks like your illustration...
Saying that, seeing this plant in the wild wouldn't be a particularly happy moment; it's a very successful invasive species, out-competing native aquatic plants and blocking waterways which leads to flooding. It's been banned from sale in the UK since 2014, and if it's found then it's on the "Rapid Response List" which means it's targeted for immediate eradication.
It was done for a fold out idnetification guide for Field Studies Council.
#botanicalillustration #Waterprimrose #Ludwigiagrandiflora #sciart #naturalscienceillustration #aquaticplants #primrose ...
These are details of a larger illustration done as a postage stamp presentation pack for Jersey Post some years ago.
The insect featured is the banded demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens.
You can find this stunning demoiselle along slow flowing streams and rivers, and often the edges of summer streams and rivers are almost glittery with them marking their territories and attracting females.
Unlike many Odonata, the Banded demoiselle seems to tolerate nutrient-rich waters, which explains why it's so often seen in my local river, the Wye, which has high levels of agricultural run-off.
Males will hang out on riverside and floating plants, performing aerial dances and flicking their wings. Females only approach water if looking to mate or to lay eggs; the rest of the time you'll find them in dense patches of vegetation like nettles and tall grasses.
Larvae are slender and take up to two years to reach maturity, overwintering in mud.
And how can you spot one? Well, the wings are an instant give away. In adult males this is iridescent blue, in younger males it may be brownish. The body is a very smart iridescent navy, and they look like they're been crafted from brushed anodized aluminium. Females are iridescent too, but a greenish gold. Their wings have a small white spot at the top margin.
The only other similar species is the Beautiful demoiselle, but these have solid blue wings (male) or solid tawny gold wings (female). Like the Banded demoiselle, these too seem able to survive local farm pollution incidents, and their populations remain robust.
#demoiselle #odonata #calopteryx #calopteryxsplendens #insectart #sciart #entomology #insects #naturalhistoryillustration #naturalscienceillustration #iridescent #iridescntinsects #postagestamps #stampartwork ...
A new seasonal blog out, on how to do a step-by-step illustration of the European Robin Erithacus rubecula:
This blog talks about materials, and breaks the way I illustrate a bird into easy steps, covers the paint and colour choices, and how to tackle tricky aspects of a bird such as the legs and the eye.
Robins are very common garden visitors here in the UK, and also very bold. They are fiercely territorial, and will chase off other robins as well of different species of birds from bird feeders. Because they're bold, they're easy to observe and you can look out for certain behaviours from the comfort of your home.
If you want to learn more about robins (and who wouldn't?) there are a couple of excellent books I'd recommend; the first is RSPB Spotlight Robin https://shopping.rspb.org.uk/books-stationery/bird-books/bird-reference-books/rspb-spotlight-series-robins.html,
The second is an all time classic,: The Life of the Robin by David Lack:
Happy Christmas everyone, to those who celebrate, and to everyone else, I hope you have a lovely festive season.
#robin #Erithacusrubecula #wildbrids #gardenbbirds #davidlack RSPB Love Nature #rspbspotlight #illustratingbirds #sciart #naturalhistoryillustration #stepbystep ...
This is Common Stork's-bill Erodium cicutarium, one of the plants I've recently illustrated for the Field Studies Council.
It's a really pretty plant, I've seen it on sandy soil near the coast in north Wales, quite a sprawling habit. The one I saw didn't have any of the distinctive seed heads, so it took rather longer than perhaps it should have done to identify it correctly.
It's a cousin of our pot plant geraniums and pelargoniums, although not a Geranium itself. If you let your houseplants bear seed, you can instantly see the similarity in the "beaked" seed heads. Pelargoniums come form South Africa, while the big red geramiums we might have in pots hail from the Mediterranean - Medeira and the Canaries.
I'll post a blog on our native Geranium species at some point, but for now, just join me in being delighted by those gloriously architectural seed pods!
#geranium #storksbill #botanicalillustration #StorksbillErodiumcicutarium #erodium #wildflowers #sciart #naturalhsitoryillustration #identificationguide #identifyingwildflwoers #naturalscienceillustration ...
Nature notebooks seem to have run in my family for a long time. I recently found one completed by my Great aunt Nina, back in 1919, when she was ten. This got me thinking about all the other artists in my family, and I decided to share some of them, and their artwork. Front cover […] Read more
Heath star moss is one of three invasive species I’ve just illustrated for FOR in Sweden. In this case, the moss is an unwelcome invasive in Iceland, where it outcompetes other mosses and affects the delicate balance of existing ecosystems. Sketchbook pages FOR have commissioned several sets of invasive species over the years, and favour […] Read more
Original Artwork Available to Buy
Lizzie has many original illustrations for sale.
In all cases, email her on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to buy one of these natural history paintings, drawings, or studies.
Below is an illustrated list of all her original work currently on sale, divided into framed and unframed categories, and subject matter.